The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery presents 2023 Artist Fellow Lauren E. Peters’ exhibition, “Art Monster,” on view between December 1-29, 2023. Guests are invited to attend a Meet-the-Artist Reception on Friday, December 1 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Lauren E. Peters is a visual artist working with the concepts of identity and gender through self-portraiture. “Self-portraiture came to me by way of a painting by Chantal Joffe, a female figure in a drippy red dress whose identity was both obscured and attempting to assert herself,” says Peters.
The artist started changing her appearance using wigs and costumes as armor, projection, mirage. She created source photos by taking selfies with her cell phone and used them as the base material upon which she adds and subtracts layers of meaning. She hopes that the oil paintings join the legacy of portraits trying to stake a claim in existence, “I am running full force, smashing my body into my own stories and a shared history to see what sticks.”
The theme for this show was inspired by Peters’ recent reading of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and builds on the term “art monster” penned by Jenny Offill. In this series of paintings, Peters explores identify, societal pressures, and transcending conformity as ways to free herself and become her own creature. Peters says, “Choose your own adventure. We are both Frankenstein and monster. Creator. Created.”
Peters began painting self-portraits for a small exhibit in 2016 after an extended hiatus from painting. She continued to develop this body of work and in 2018 was awarded the Delaware Individual Artist Fellowship in painting for her self-portraiture.
In 2021, Peters curated a group exhibition, “Appearances,” at The Delaware Contemporary with 16 other artists creating a piece based on an early self-portrait. She saw the public installation of her portrait of “Wilma,” the namesake of a new restaurant/bowling alley in downtown Wilmington. In 2022 Peters attended the Soaring Gardens Residency and will attend a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the spring of 2024.
Peters is currently the recipient of the 2023 Established Fellowship in Painting from the Delaware Division of the Arts. She lives and works in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Mezzanine Gallery, open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located on the second floor of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington.
Images: Lauren E. Peters. self-portrait (creature).2023, oil on panel. Lauren E. Peters. self-portrait (gorgon edit).2022, oil on canvas. Lauren E. Peters. self-portrait (Omphale II).2023, oil on canvas.
The Mezzanine Gallery, located in the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington, features one-person exhibitions of Delaware artists in disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, folk, and media arts.
To be considered for an exhibition, artists may submit a Mezzanine Gallery Application before the annual deadline of March 15.
Delaware’s Individual Artist Fellowships recognize artists for their outstanding quality of work and provide monetary awards. Individual Artist Fellows are publicly acknowledged and benefit from the additional exposure to their work. Visual artists who receive Individual Artist Fellowships are also given the opportunity to exhibit in the Mezzanine Gallery.
To be considered for a Fellowship, artists may submit an Individual Artist Fellowship Application before the annual deadline of August 1.
Visit the Gallery
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Photo ID required after 4:30 p.m.
On-street and garage parking available
Free and open to the public.
About the Gallery
The Mezzanine Gallery presents solo exhibitions of work by Delaware artists in disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, folk, and media arts.
This opportunity is available to Delaware’s emerging and established visual artists who have won Individual Artist Fellowships, or have been chosen by the Division’s annual Gallery Panel.
Held the first Friday of the month from 5-7 p.m. Dates are subject to change.
February 2-26, 2024
Opening Reception: February 2 from 5:00pm-7:00pm
March 1-29, 2024
Opening Reception: March 1 from 5:00pm-7:00pm
Our annual exhibition schedule runs from
September to August, with a new exhibition
every month except in January.
*2023 Individual Artist Fellow